Monday, February 4, 2008


Showcase of cultures for 3,000 at UMS


The colours and sounds of international cultures spanning eight countries filled the Chancellor’s Hall at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) last night as the City Day celebrations continued with the launch of the City Cultural Extravaganza. The event stayed true to its name, as the 3,000-odd spectators were given their money’s worth for the tickets with a near overwhelming four-hour showcase of cultures from Europe, Africa and the Pacific. Although there was a slight delay at the beginning of the night, things progressed smoothly enough with dancers from the Scottish Highland Dance Academy the first to take to the stage in the first set. After completing their performance, the dance troupe representing Poland went up next to perform two traditional dances followed by the troupe representing Ireland, who put on an energetic display of Irish tradition. Irish tap-dancing finesse was later replaced with Spanish passion, as the Spanish Castanuelas took over the stage performing five different dances, one after the other. From Spain, the spectators were then brought on a “journey through the South Pacific”, tagging along with the Maori New Zealand troupe who presented the various dances of the South Pacific nations. Also presenting a wide variety of dances were The Safari Cats from Kenya, whose dances aimed to present the over 40 different tribes found in their country. The Safari Cats’ departure from the stage marked the end of the first set, after which the crowd was entertained during the intermission by nationally- renowned composer and singer Ajai, Akademi Fantasia (AF) stars Adam and Marsha and a modern dance performance by local dancers. The second set followed soon after, with performances by the troupes from Scotland, Poland, Ireland, Kenya, Viva Brazil, New Zealand and Ukraine. The City Cultural Extravaganza continues today and tomorrow, when Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman are expected to attend the finale.